Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) and the Orthodox Union (OU) once again combined efforts on programs for the Three Weeks and Nine Days leading to Tisha B’Av, which were followed by a variety of shiurim [lectures] on Tisha B’Av itself.

“We were proud to partner with the Orthodox Union in providing our community with an inspirational program for Tisha B’Av,” said Rabbi Yaakov Glasser, David Mitzner Dean of the CJF. “This collection of shiurim addressed the meaning and poignancy of Tisha B’Av in the framework of our contemporary Jewish experience.”

The centerpiece of the program was a video featuring Rabbi Glasser; Rabbi Menachem Penner, Max and Marion Grill Dean of YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and Undergraduate Torah Studies; Mrs. Shoshana Schechter, assistant professor of Bible and director of the Mechina Pathways Program at Stern College for Women; Rabbi Steven Weil, senior managing director of the OU; and Rabbi Ari Lamm, a student at RIETS and the William Fischman rabbinic intern at The Jewish Center.

“In light of the tragic events in Israel this summer, the Three Weeks was a time of deep introspection for the Jewish community,” said Rabbi Judah Isaacs, director of community engagement at the OU. “The jointly prepared video classes by the Orthodox Union and Yeshiva University provided a forum on Tisha B’Av for synagogue members to learn about the tragedies of the day, and how they resonate in our times.”

The free DVD was sent to all Orthodox Union member congregations and by CJF to synagogues across North America, Israel, the United Kingdom and Australia.

In addition to the DVD, YU once again presented two Tisha B’av live webcasts of the kinnot services, entitled “Mourning for Jerusalem in 204”. Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter, University Professor of Jewish History and Thought at Yeshiva University as well as Senior Scholar at CJF, presented his annual kinnot program at Congregation Keter Torah in Teaneck, NJ, while Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb, rebbe at Yeshivat Ashreinu and Rabbi of Ganei Haeila in Ramat Beit Shemesh, presented a kinnot program at Yeshiva University’s Gruss Campus in Jerusalem. Both programs were well attended in person and drew thousands of visitors to the live webcast online.

The Benjamin and Rose Berger Tisha B’av To-Go 5774 was distributed to hundreds of synagogues, camps and other institutions in the US, Canada and Israel, with over 20,000 copies delivered in print and online. As it is each year, Tisha B’av was the busiest day of the year for the Marcos and Adina Katz website, with thousands of listeners going to the site for Tisha B’av insights and inspiration. We hope and pray that in the merit of all the learning and mitzvot that were done on Tisha B’av that this will be the last Tisha B’av that the Jewish people must mark in exile and that next year YU can provide even more resources for the first joyous Tisha B’av in Jerusalem.


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